I've been taking a break from the broken concrete pathway in my backyard because last week I did epic battle with a spider of unknown originals and lost. I'm understandably grossed out about having two nasty spider bites on my stomach and they're still not healed all the way... think I might need some therapy to go out there again. Gross.
Under the tile was a few inches of mortar, chicken wire and tar paper. Lots of fun, lots of dust, and lots of wondering why the original installers chose to add the extra height with mortar and lay the tile on a higher level than the wood, thereby making any entryway furniture placement almost impossible.
After the tile was up, the wood flooring needed to be removed as well. I called in a friendly professional because the idea of taking a saw to the wood floors we just refinished this year was too much for me to handle.
My contractor friend "Joe the Builder" (his requested moniker -- can he build it? yes he can!) set the saw height so that it would cut through the floor without cutting through the subfloor, and cut through the middle of the last board set to be removed.
Then we started removing the tongue-in-groove floor boards one at a time using a pry bar from the other side, working toward the cut he made -- I made him pose for a photo but then we switched places and I actually removed the floor. Not a difficult job at all!
After I pulled up the final half of the board with the saw cut through it, I used a chisel to carefully cut off the tongue from the exposed floor board edge, creating a nice flat surface to set the tile against.
After sweeping up the mess and carefully pulling up any leftover nails or staples from the tar paper, my entry way was a clean slate.
The last thing to do was install some HardiBacker to create a solid, even surface for the tile. I used subfloor adhesive and special backer board screws to attach it to the subfloor.
Can't wait to start tiling! Not as excited to resume work on the pathway out in spider city (AKA my backyard).